Earlier today, Barcelona announced they have broken off an eight-year relationship with the Catalan-based multimedia company, Mediapro, and have signed a one-year television deal with Telefónica reportedly worth £104 million (140 million euros).
Telefónica is Spain’s largest telephone company and the third biggest operator in the world with divisions in Europe, Asia, North America and South America.
The company will hold the television rights for Barcelona’s matches for the entirety of the 2015-16 campaign, and will also be responsible for running the club’s official TV channel, Barca TV.
Real Madrid, as well as the majority of the clubs in La Liga, have deals in place with Mediapro; but some teams have recently switched to Telefónica.
Most of the new television deals in Spain are believed to be for one season, since it is widely expected that La Liga is set to adopt a system of collective bargaining for television rights – similar to the one used in England – and have it in place in time for the start of the 2016-17 season.
New legislation was proposed more than two years ago but has yet to be signed into law.
Eventually, the intention is to divide up the 800 million euros of television rights among the entirety of Spanish football.
Just last week, Espanyol president Joan Collet hit out at the uneven split of television money in La Liga and threatened to strike if the government didn’t issue a decree about the regularization of TV rights.
Under the current system, Spanish champions Atletico Madrid earned 42 million euros, Espanyol made 28 million, and five clubs earned just 18 million euros a piece.